First note that personal watercraft are classified as boats. All boats under 15 tons gross and powered by an engine of 7.51 kW (10 HP) or more must be licensed. Licences can be obtained, free of charge, from any Service Canada office.
To get your pleasure craft licence, you must first mail in an application form, proof of ownership and a signed copy of ID to the Pleasure Craft Licensing Centre. Full details and application forms can be found on the Office of Boating Safety website.
The Small Vessel Regulations state that a license number must be displayed in block characters, in a contrasting colour and with characters no less than 7.5 cm high on each side of the bow. Boats with smaller engines can also be licensed if the owner wishes. In addition to attaching the licence number to the boat the owner must carry the paper certificate on board. Placing it in a watertight envelope is recommended.
New vessel licences, transfers and renewals will be valid for 10 years. Existing licences without an expiry date are grandfathered unless the information on the licence has changed since it was issued. Licence holders must report a change in name or address and obtain a renewed licence within 30 days of the change.
Provincially licensed amphibious vessels will no longer be exempt from these regulations.